How would you describe a person whom you cannot take your eyes off? If you say graceful, exquisite or stunningly beautiful, you would definitely be describing Devora Wilde. Born in Bulgaria, raised in the United Kingdom and travelled to the most exotic destinations in the world, the 29-year-old actress is living her life at full speed.
But how she succeeded in becoming not only a well-known face in the acting industry, but also an owner of a theater company? Probably the shortest answer would be with persistence and passion.
From an early age Devora knew her vocation; however her younger self chose the “more rational” path and studied Fashion Journalism. Shortly after her graduation though, the heart prevailed over the brain. “I just didn’t love it enough to work my way up,” she says, “so I decided that it’s now or never if I want to become an actress.”
After successfully graduating from Drama Studio London’s Postgraduate Acting Course, Devora realised that just now comes the hard part: daily refusals and disappointment. “But with time I learned that not getting the role is nothing personal –it’s because you didn’t have the right hair colour or because you’re too tall.”
Devora’s indestructible ambition to be on stage led to the creation of her own theatre
company – Black Cat Theatre. “My business partner Alex di Cuffa and I were fed up of not being able to get cast in theatre shows, so we simply decided to make our own.” Their first production, “The Millennials” is devoted to the millennial generation and their struggles, whereas the actors are young undiscovered talents who are given the opportunity to explain their life through acting.
Creating your own theatre show may sound like a piece of cake, but the reality is quite different – to be in the role of the producer could be incredibly overwhelming. However, the way she explains the difficulties she is going through – always smiling and with an excitement in her voice, simply makes me think it’s worth it.
When Devora talks about the development of Black Cat Theatre, the love she feels towards the acting profession becomes almost tangible, especially when she re-creates the feeling of being on stage: “When you have this electric atmosphere and the audience is sympathising with the characters with gasps, this is how you know you’ve done a good job. The actors love to feel that the audience is on a journey with them.”
Devora’s contribution in the acting industry is not only in theatre, but also in cinema. She and I both originally from Bulgaria, we discuss the native cinema. Devora notices an undeniable progress in some of the latest productions, especially since the Bulgarian landscape is being more and more used as a set for foreign-films. The only problem she finds in the country is the viewpoint of the majority of people: “With acting you’re expected to become world famous in a year or two and when this doesn’t happen, people around you tell you to give up or try something else.”
“How do you cope with all that scepticism,” I ask her. Her response is that with the time she learned not to pay attention: “Just because you’re an actor doesn’t mean that you’re going to get famous in a day.” Devora presents the acting as the same career as any other – it needs constant work; otherwise nobody is going to hand success to you on a silver platter.
To my question what are the biggest difficulties in an actor’s life, Devora lists a couple of struggles such as self-criticism or jealousy of other artists. However, she has found a solution to these as well: “The key is to work on your mindset a lot – what’s really important is to see your own progress instead of comparing to others.”
Another burden stands out when she talks about her favourite films – while watching, Devora unconsciously analyses the sequences, the costumes and every detail in the actors’ facial expressions. It seems that acting really is a 24/7 profession!
But as any other human creatures, actors need holidays too. Devora shares that every time she has a few days off (which is a rare occurrence) she would like to spend them travelling. From Bulgaria to the Gili Islands – this is how she rests. But sometimes one has to sacrifice his days off for the sake of the success: Devora admits that in London it’s quite hard to get into the acting community, so it is vital to be around the beneficial opportunities.
If you talk about art in Bulgaria, you will probably hear elderly people say: “Musicians don’t bring home the bread,” but the first word could easily be replaced by “actors”, “painters” or any kind of artist. Fortunately, Devora is an example that it’s not scary to start from scratch in order to make your wish come true, even when you’re an actor.
Nobody says that your dream is easily achievable, but next time you hear your career path won’t bring home the bread, bake your own!